Filling Out Surveys

As a new vehicle owner, I get surveys in the mail asking for my very valuable opinions. Of course, if people actually read the things that I wrote on there, then they might realize the absurdity of how these surveys are constructed.

Namely, the first thing that bothers me is all of the categorization and number-assigning you have to do. Is there really a difference between a seven star appointment rating versus a nine? It’s what we call unnecessary precision in mathematics. Plus, the long-form questions are always a bit rigid, so you never have basic “just tell us whatever you feel like” bits. Plus, the survey always makes you sound a bit negative. I love my new car, but it’s not perfect, and basically what I wrote in the survey was all of the non-perfect things.

Oh well.

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Synchtube

So apparently there’s this thing called Synchtube out there that can improve the process of watching videos at the same time, or, FURDER QUESTIONING as we like to call it. Except it’s kind of flakey and doesn’t seem to work all the time. Still, it’s a good first step, and I wonder why someone hasn’t tried it before. It’s a shame that more video steaming websites don’t have sync options. The hit-or-miss tactics of trying to start at the same time combined with trying to coordinate ad breaks on some services is quite annoying.

Just give an option for two logged in users to share the same timecodes and you’ve got it done. Sometimes you want to watch things with friends. Why not make it easier?

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Up is down, down is up.

Another user interface blunder in the Mazda 3 – sometimes, down is up, and up is down.

When shifting the gears, you pull “down” or towards you to shift up to a higher gear. This actually makes intuitive sense, as it’s how a ratchet shifter works. However, nothing else with an up-down interface seems to work this way. The volume up-down control is as you expect, of course, and right next to it is the seek/forward/back rocker. To go to a higher track, you have to press up. Inconsistent, much?

Then there’s the strange misapplication of up and down in relation to navigating folders on an MP3 CD. The FOLDER button has an up/down arrow on it, as opposed to a fast forward/rewind arrow. Down is basically in the position of rewind, but when I think of a folder hierarchy, I don’t think of down as rewind. In alphabetical order, down means going 1, 2, 3, 4, et cetera – or going forwards. Up is going backwards.

That is, unless you use ascending order, which Mazda apparently does.

I’m sure this is not a Mazda-only problem. Many cars and other platforms have these same kind of issues. Is it because the people making them just don’t care? Or is it just dogma piled on from down high? If I could design user interface…

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Quark 9.

WIll somebody tell Quark to go away? Nobody likes them anymore. I don’t, you don’t, let’s move on with our lives. Hopefully every year their terrible software becomes more irrelevant. Quark 8 just came out relatively recently, and now you’re on Quark 9? Given how much they charge for the software, I bet the take rate is going to be astronomically low.

At this point, making a transition is probably less painful than upgrading. Sad, really. How the mighty have fallen.

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Disney Needs A Life

Where, exactly, did this Mars Needs Moms thing come from, and why am I hearing about it all of a sudden? Apparently it’s based on a Berke Breathed book. You know, the guy who created Opus and Bill the Cat. But it doesn’t look anything like something he would do, and that’s due to the fact that Robert Zemeckis and his bizarro real CG team are on the case.

If you’re basing your material on the work of a great artist like Berke Breathed… why not use his art style? Maybe A Wish for Wings That Work turned him off from being involved. I don’t know. All I can see is that this looks like one of those films that nobody really asked for but is being made through the motions to have something, anything, in place at a dead time of March.

It just doesn’t make sense, I tell you, especially after having guys like Lasseter in charge. Oh well. I’ll just hang tight until Cowboys and Aliens come out, because that movie will be awesome. James Bond and Indiana Jones teaming up? Hell yes.

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It’s Easter time… in February.

Yep, with Valentine’s come and gone, the next “seasonal” shelf item at the supermarket is Easter candy. Easter is coming late this year, on April 24. So we’re going to have a nearly solid two months worth of Easter stuff on the shelves. Spring hasn’t even sprung here, no matter how many times I have hummed “Winter Wrap-Up.” If people think having Christmas stuff on the shelves right after Halloween is creepy, this is probably just as bad.

However, it does mean one important fact, and that’s the glory of jellybeans. Yes, the variety of jellybeans has exploded over the past few years, and we now have a new flavor of Starburst ones. They’re basically two flavors in one bean – the shell is one flavor, and the interior is another. Kind of like those crazy core Skittles, except… jellybeans.

The verdict, of course, is that they’re awesome, because Starburst jellybeans are awesome. They’ve somehow made peach candy palatable, and for that, they deserve my utmost praise.

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Washing the car here, Boss

If you like nice weather, don’t have me wash cars, either mine or others. It seems, invariably, that whenever I cleanse a vehicle of its dirt and grime it invites rain or snow or frogs from the sky. I chalk this up to my inevitable cursitude. Washing cars is a necessity, after all, what’s the point in having a nice shiny new car if it’s not, well, shiny? Yet it is all a futile effort, as the car will just get dirty again, either by the sheer act of driving it or by mother nature deciding to take a leak.

But then again, perhaps it is the car washes that have finally mastered control of the weather. They know exactly when we wash and the best cycle for throwing the weather right at us. It’s a conspiracy, I tells ya!

…Or, the random number generator that is the world just likes to form coincidences sometimes.

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Advance With Caution.

Hey! More Let’s (re)Play NES Bionic Commando. You should watch it! Cause it’s cool, and stuff.

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Rocks

Rocks

Rocks

Sony Alpha a700, Tamron 17-50.

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It’s another Bionic Commando episode!

Go watch it. You’ll like it.

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